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Skirting board heating as an energy saver: the pros and cons

Baseboard heating is intended to save energy for the homeowner by minimizing the effort used by a boiler or heat source to reach the maximum temperature for a heating system. While this is generally true, the statement needs to be examined in more detail to find out how much energy the system can save.

The skirting system is designed with slim flow and return pipes, which require less water to fill and therefore less energy to heat. Therefore, the statement that a baseboard heating system demands less from the boiler or heat source is true.

However, the duration or amount of active heating in this system can be greater than the combined heated area of ​​a traditional radiator system. So while the boiler or heat source technically works less to achieve the desired temperature, it can run longer to push the heat out over a larger general area.

This increase in directly heated area is one of the big selling points for a skirting board radiator system. By heating more parts of a room directly (that is, with heat emanating from a nearby source rather than dissipating from a hot radiator at the other end of the room), skirting boards are potentially capable of delivering more heat. uniform in the room and work at a lower temperature than its equivalent based on radiators.

Of course, the heated plinth system is also a radiator system, only in miniature. So instead of concentrating all the heating power into one solid unit, which is required to push that heat across the entire cubic area of ​​the space it’s supposed to heat, the skirting board version distributes it.

So, in terms of simple physics, the power requirements for both should be about the same. If the baseboard heating system is simply a collection of very small radiators, all of which draw power from the same type of boiler and raise the average room heat to the same average temperature; so the power they use to do it should be more or less identical.

The difference is that the maximum temperature required to achieve medium heat is considerably lower when the radiant heat source is distributed throughout the room. This means the boiler or central heating power supply doesn’t need to work too hard and therefore uses one less grade of fuel to reach set temperatures. This is roughly analogous to the difference in fuel economy between driving a fast car and driving it at a more moderate pace.

The significant savings offered by the baseboard heating system occur when the property owner connects it to lower energy heat sources; and install new insulation to go with the new system. By connecting heated baseboards to a heat source with a lower maximum temperature (such as an air source heat pump), the property owner reduces the amount of high energy output the system can deliver. The heat source can easily run at lower average temperatures because (as stated) the heated baseboards do not need to be heated to the same degree to provide the overall required temperature for the home.

So the basic conclusion that can be drawn is this: a baseboard heated system has the ability to save energy compared to more traditional central heating systems. But you need help to reach your full potential. Thermostats and zone heating controls help; as is the new insulation and the inclusion of a low-power heat source at the heart of the facility. The more energy-saving factors a homeowner combines, the more noticeable the energy-saving effect will be.


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